After weeks of speculation, the first footage for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available for viewing. Was it worth the hype? Did it make us turn from the comfortingly dismissive cynicism of the Dark side toward the fanboyish optimism of the Light? The consensus: yeah, pretty much. Which is a bit surprising, considering how little of a trailer it actually is. At only 11 shots long, is there much of anything that we can infer about the new movie’s plot, or how good it’s going to be?
The consensus: no, but that’s okay. This is a teaser trailer designed to get you excited about a new Star Wars, and it totally accomplishes that. If this was the only promotional footage ever shown for Episode VII, it’d be enough to make it one of the biggest films of 2015.
But just because there’s not much of substance here doesn’t mean we can’t shamelessly pick apart those 11 fleeting shots, and gauge how each contributes to hyping up Star Wars fans both young and old. Using as much scientific accuracy as an actual Star Wars film, I’ve calculated to the parsec what the best shots of the trailer are, according to the only two criteria that matter: Nostalgia Bait and Neat New Stuff.